Ridley Scott’s new film The Martian is not only getting great reviews, it’s his biggest commercial success in years. Last week I sat down with English composer Harry Gregson-Williams (Scott’s collaborator on such past films as Kingdom of Heaven) to discuss his music for The Martian. It’s for my partners at SoundWorks Collection and is our best video to date, incorporating scenes from the film, musical excerpts, and footage of Harry conducting a large ensemble in London’s Abbey Road. Harry talks about the hybrid nature of the score (partially electronic, partially orchestral, some choral work), how his musical approach changed during the scoring process, and why he likes to conduct his own work.
German-born, California-based composer Marc Streitenfeld (Prometheus, American Gangster) had big shoes to fill when he took on the Poltergeist remake that opens this weekend. Jerry Goldsmith’s score for the original 1982 film is now something of a classic. The new Poltergeist was enough of an angle for Variety to propose a profile of the composer, which I broke into three stories: a main story about his odyssey from Munich to L.A. and the connection with Ridley Scott that jump-started his career; a secondary story in which I interview directors about working with him; and a third story about his challenge of scoring a haunted-house tale with modern twists. He’s now writing music for the new Amazon series Hand of God starring Ron Perlman.